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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Volver and The Times of Harvey Milk

Volver (2006)
*Second Viewing

In terms of quality, I would place this about smackdab in the middle of Almdovar's body of work, which means it's pretty darn good. All About My Mother and Talk to Her are two of my all-time favorites, and Volver doesn't quite live up to them. Penelope Cruz is magnificent as an earthy, tough, working-class Spanish mother who takes things (from cleaning up bodies to starting her own restaurant) into her own hands. This movie is truly a celebration (like many of Almodovar's films) of the strength and resilence of women. It's impressive that Almodovar can create a movie that includes death, incest, and cancer and yet still seem very fun to watch.

Grade: B+

The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)

If you've seen Milk, this documentary doesn't add a whole lot of new information, although you will be impressed at how much Sean Penn, James Franco, and Josh Brolin look like their characters. The best parts were hearing from a few on Milk's political allies and seeing the actual footage. And, of course, Milk's story continues to be both tragic and inspiring.

Grade: B

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